Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather, knows a thing or two about the Mafia and about the movie business; here he brings them together. In the prologue, a Mafia don oversees the double christening of two infant boys, Dante and Cross, into the Clericuzio family. Later, when Cross is tapped to take over as the 'Hammer' of the Clericuzios, their prime hit man, he proves not cold-blooded enough for the role. Dante takes his place, and Cross moves from Las Vegas to Hollywood, which proves to be an even worse den of iniquity. When he falls for a movie star Athena Aquitaine, he exhibits the 'fatal flaw' the old don always warned against: loving a beautiful woman. A taut novel of sex and money, of love and power.